Lleida

Lleida
Lérida
—  Municipality  —
La Seu Vella cathedral in Lleida.


[[Image:|250px|Lleida
Lérida is located in ]]
Location of Lleida within Catalonia

Location of Lleida within Spain
Coordinates: 41°37′00″N 00°38′00″E / 41.6166667°N 0.6333333°E / 41.6166667; 0.6333333
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Catalonia
Province Lleida
Comarca Segrià
Founded 6th century BC
Government
 - Type Mayor-Council
 - Mayor Angel Ros i Domingo (PSC)
Area
 - Total  dunams (211.7 km2 / 
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 sq mi)
Elevation
Population (2010)
 - Total 137,387
 Density
 - Urban density
 - Rural density
 - Metro density
 -  Density
 -  Density
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 25001-25007
Dialing code 34 (Spain) + 973 (Lleida)
Official language(s) Catalan, Spanish
Website

Lleida (, locally: . Spanish: Lérida ) is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of the same name, as well as the largest city in that province and it had 135,919 inhabitants , including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs. It is also the capital city of the Segrià comarca.

Lleida is one of the oldest towns in Catalonia, with recorded settlements dating back to the Bronze Age period. Until the roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the area served as a settlement for the Iberian people Ilergetes. The town became a municipality, named Ilerda, under the reign of Augustus. It was reconquered in 1149, after being many centuries under the rule of the Moors, who had conquered the town in the 8th century. In 1297, the University of Lleida was founded, becoming the third oldest in the whole Spain. During the following centuries, the town was damaged by several wars such as the Reapers' War in the 17th century or the Spanish Civil War in the 20th century. Since then, the city has been in a constant urban, commercial and demographic growth.

Lleida has a continental climate, with cold and foggy winters due to its inland location, and hot and dry summers. Its average temperature ranges from 26 °C in summer to 7 °C degrees in winter.

Languages

It is a traditionally Catalan-speaking town and province, with a characteristic dialect (known as Western or, more specifically, North-Western Catalan, or colloquially lleidatà). Most of the population is actively bilingual in Spanish.

History

In ancient times the city, named Iltrida and Ilerda, was the chief city of the Ilergetes, an Iberian tribe. Indíbil, king of the Ilergetes, and Mandoni, king of the Ausetanes, defended it against the Roman invasion.

Under the Romans, the city was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis, and was a place of considerable importance, historically as well as geographically. It stood upon an eminence, on the right (west) bank of the river Sicoris (the modern Segre), the principal tributary of the Ebro, and some distance above its confluence with the Cinga (modern Cinca); thus commanding the country between those rivers, as well as the great road from Tarraco (modern Tarragona), the provincial capital, to the northwest of Spain, which here crossed the Sicoris.[1]

Its situation[2] induced the legates of Pompey in Spain to make it the key of their defense against Caesar, in the first year of the Civil War (49 BCE). Afranius and Marcus Petreius threw themselves into the place with five legions; and their siege by Caesar himself (Battle of Ilerda), as narrated in his own words, forms one of the most interesting passages of military history. The resources exhibited by the great general, in a contest where the formation of the district and the very elements of nature seemed in league with his enemies, have been frequently extolled; but no epitome can do justice to the campaign. It ended by the capitulation of Afranius and Petreius, who were conquered as much by Caesar's generosity as by his strategy.[3] In consequence of the battle, the Latin phrase Ilerdam videas is said to have been used by people who wanted to cast bad luck on someone else.

Under the Roman empire, Ilerda was a very flourishing city, and a municipium. It minted its own coins. It had a fine stone bridge over the Sicoris, (the bridge was so sturdy that its foundations support a bridge to this today). In the time of Ausonius the city had fallen into decay; but it rose again into importance in the Middle Ages.[4]

It was part of Visigothic and Muslim Hispania until it was conquered from the Moors by the Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1149.

It used to be the seat of a major university, the oldest in the Crown of Aragon, until 1717, when it was moved by Philip V to the nearby town of Cervera. The University of Lleida is nowadays active again.

During the Reapers' War, Lleida was occupied by the French and rebel forces. In 1644 the city was conquered by the Spanish under D. Felipe da Silva

Lleida served as a key defense point for Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, and fell to the Insurgents, whose air forces bombed it extensively, in 1937 and 1938. The November 2, 1937 Legion Kondor attacks against Lleida became especially infamous since they were aimed to the school known as Liceu Escolar de Lleida. 48 children and several teachers died in it that day. 300 people were killed on the November 2 bombings altogether, and the town would be bombed and sieged again in 1938, when it was conquered by Franco's forces.[5]

After some decades without any kind of population growth, it met a massive migration of Andalusians who helped the town undergo a relative demographic growth. Nowadays it's home to immigrants of 146 different nationalities.[6]

During 2007 Lleida was the year's Capital of Catalan Culture.[7]

Districts and neighbourhoods

!-- This section is linked from Cap Pont --> Lleida is divided in the following districts by the Observatori Socioeconòmic de Lleida: